Should the Military Upgrade—or Replace—Beretta’s M9 Pistol?

Beretta M9

In an Aug. 17 letter to the editor in the Washington Post, Gabriele de Plano, vice president of marketing and operations for Beretta Defense Technologies based in Accokeek, Maryland, asked some interesting questions about the U.S. military’s efforts to replace the company’s M9 9mm pistol in the Modular Handgun System trials.

VP de Plano argued that the Army could upgrade the existing M9 pistol for far less money than developing a new Modular Handgun System, or MHS.

In the letter to the editor, he wrote, “Regarding the Aug. 9 Business article, ‘Beretta’s fight to arm the military,’ about the company losing a U.S. military contract for M9 pistols: “Beretta has made an effort to provide updated M9 pistols to the U.S. armed forces. As far back as 2003, we offered the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps M9 pistol upgrades. In 2006, the Marine Corps adopted the M9A1 pistol, an upgraded version of the M9 pistol.

“In 2012 and 2013, we presented the Army with upgrades that increased the reliability and modularity of the M9 pistol. M9 upgrades presented to the Army last year would satisfy 84 percent of the Army’s requirements for a Modular Handgun System without the half-billion-dollar cost of that program.

“Numerous firearms used by the U.S. government and adopted more than 30 years ago still meet and exceed mission requirements because of upgrades that the government accepted, including the M2/M2A1, M4/M4A1, M16/M16A2, M240/M240B/M240L and M320/M320A1. Why should the M9 pistol be treated differently?” The Shooter’s Log is interested in the answers to those questions as well.

To see our previous coverage of the Beretta M9 and Model 92, click the links below:

Do you think the M9 (the equivalent of the civilian Model 92) needs to be replaced, or is it cheaper, faster, and easier to modify the existing pistol to add features the military wants? If you own the M9 or Model 92, we are particularly interested in hearing the pros and cons of the handgun, in your experience.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (206)

  1. Thor,

    I’m not sure what you mean about the Spanish-American War lasting two years from 1898 to 1900. It lasted barely five months, from Apr – Aug 1898. I was discussing the Moro Rebellion, which ran from 1899 – 1913. We did not fight the Moros prior to that. I mentioned the 12 gauge shotgun, 45/70, 30/40 Krag, and 30’06 because all of them were used in that long conflict. I did fail to mention the 6mm Lee, Colt 38s, 9mm Lugers, Colt 45 DA revolvers, and Colt 38 revolvers that also saw service with US forces and Philippine Constabulary during this time period. The 38 and 9mm were roundly criticized for their general lack of “stopping power”, which is why the various SA and DA Colt 45s were issued. And the resiliency of the Moros as determined fighters to the death is well documented. How much that influenced the development and fielding of the 45 ACP and 1911 pistol is unclear. The regular Army never warmed up to the 38, and the reports coming back from the Philippines did influence the search for suitable caliber and pistol, which, after several stopgap measures, resulted in the adoption of the iconic 1911 45 ACP pistol. I did a little bit of digging and discovered an ironic tidbit. The 45 ACP pistol was never used against the Moros, but in 1944 they were sent to the Philippines to arm the Moros against the Japanese!

  2. It’s like anything else, there is not a one size fits all, the mind set used to be spray and pray that’s why they needed more capsity for mags and made the bullets smaller example 223 instead of the 30’06 and 308! Each location jungle, desert or close quarter fighting has different methods of fighting and needs. My thought is bigger is better! Stop the threat quickly before he puts a bullet in you.

  3. Thor,
    I doubt very many 45 ACP pistols were used against the Moro tribes. The Moro Rebellion lasted from 1899 to1913. The first 1911 contract pistols were made in Dec 1911. What the Army did in the interim was reissue Colt 1873 SAA that had their barrels cut to 5.5″. The typical .45 Colt load was more powerful than the 45 ACP and of a better overall design (flat tipped 250 grain lead), though I can’t be certain if this is the load issued to Army at that time. The 45 ACP was a 230 grain FMJ round nose bullet traveling about 100 FPS slower than the 45 Colt when fired from a 7.5″ barrel). The 45 ACP load designed to ensure good feeding reliability, while the older Colt load was said to be able to stop a runaway horse that was dragging its fallen rider. A good 45/70, 30/40 Krag, or 30-06 round would have been much more effective than any pistol round in terms of range and stopping power. A 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot would have proven more effective at short range than any handgun. The information that is available indicates that handgun use in combat is minuscule. In WWI the club, trench knife, spade, and bayonet inflicted more casualties in trench fighting. Since then the combat use of handguns has been largely limited to specialized missions such as extremely tight quarters fighting (tunnel rats of Vietnam) or guard duty. The M1 carbine was developed for WWII precisely because of the limitations of the handgun. But the handgun remains because the troops want them, and because they do perform an important niche role. I do not advocate eliminating them. I advocate issue and training as required, and I believe that for those who want to use their personnel handguns, I say let them. But in this case the training, logistics, and overall responsibility should remain entirely up to them.

    1. Col KFC–Never meant to claim that the 1911 .45 ACP was used specifically in the Spanish American war of 1898. But it was the ineffectiveness of .38 Long Colts there that lead to the invention of the 1911 .45ACP by Browning. I thought you might have had a greater knowledge of history and the dates involved (Spanish American War was barely 2 years long–from 1898 to 1900) 1911 was many years after that war. It was that NEW semi-auto pistol (note the passage of 11 years) that solved the problem when and if a handgun was needed but few were ready for WWI. I copied my comment below to make it easier for you. The balance of your comment could be valid. My two family members who fought in the Spanish American War are long gone and can’t be asked. I agree that the .45 Long Colt exceeds the .38 Long Colt in a SAA. I would certainly pick a rifle over a handgun but remember back in the days of the 30-40 Krag and the 30-06 the military was outfitting them with very long distance sights with little expectation of battle at pistol ranges. They were wrong of course.

      The “ought six” was and still is an extraordinary round but the Krag had a short life span. The 45-70 is still around loaded much hotter than in 1898 because the Trapdoor Springfield is such a weak action.

      Original Comment–
      Reflect back to when battle action was a little different but our guys couldn’t stop Phillipino Moros with their issue .38 Long Colts. Presto–the .45 ACP chambered in 1911’s solves the problem of effective handgun fire. No need to find out that the guy that has your back has picked a plastic 9mm for his sidearm and you are out of ammo which happens to be .45 ACP. Doesn’t fit your pistol. Or the armorer needs to replace the ejector–but can he carry one for every make? Standardization is the key.

  4. Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.I can’t wait to look in the mirror cause I get better looking each day.Some folks say that I’m egotistical.Hell, I don’t even know what that means. But to know me is to love me so I must be a hell of a man.
    Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, but I’m doing the best that I can………hehehehe

  5. Training new personel with the M9 (people who have never shot a pistol) is a pain in the ass. On the police qualification firing range, you can watch and tell the caliber of each pistol. 45 cals take one round to drop the metal plates, 40 cals take 1-2 rounds, and 9mm take 4-5 rounds. You can choose any fire arm you want, but after 12years of watching this I know which i am using. 9mm of course, who wants to drop a person in one round.

  6. Is this really an effort to retain a Government contract?? Initial issue is correct.. Let the DOD and the military personnel decide. After all it is their lives that their weapons are protecting. We should let the military run the military, not politicians.

  7. Oh my gosh. You’re so sensitive. I had no idea you felt this way. Allow me to apologize and retort. You fired the first round at me and maybe I made a mistake sinking to your level. Well thats a lick on me. Don’t try the “I am the scholar” routine with me. You know nothing about me and I don’t believe you know much about anything else. You wanted to start some sh%# with me but when I throw it back on you, you get all butthurt and try to use some big words. Well I have some words for you, internet tough guy. Go F** k yourself. You’re just pathetic little man whose dick size is probably smaller than a 9mm bullet that goes it the Beretta M9. How about that for staying on topic?

  8. Well folks, it appears ‘Donald Trump’ has interrupted our polite chat simply to disrupt and deflect the conversation. I’m happy to respond to any useful comments or questions that pertain, even tangentially, to the original subject of whether or not the M9 pistol should be treated differently than other weapons systems due for upgrade or replacement. But I won’t indulge G-Man any further, no matter how loudly he rants. Would anyone else care to get back on topic?

    1. @ Colonel K,

      I couldn’t help myself, as I know you have banished me to the nether regions of your mind, but it would be remiss of me if I failed to point out that you now wish to appear as if you’ve taken the high road by guiding us all back onto a topic which you clearly derailed with your comments to begin with.

      Most ironic however, is your sudden need to engage in a topic which you have already professed no longer serves a legitimate purpose beyond a “psychological value” anyway.

      And that would be President-Elect Trump to you.

  9. From logistics/support aspect one caliber and one pistol for all simplifies ammo, parts, maintenance and end user training.

  10. When it come down to function, reliability & accuracy, the Berretta M9/92-FS is like a sore peter, YOU JUST CAN’T BEAT IT!

  11. Would anyone care to comment on why they believe that any combat soldier should carry such a heavy firearm firing only 9mm. Seriously, while I have never been in combat, I’ve been on some extensive hikes and weight isn’t everything, IT’S THE ONLY THING.

    1. You raise a valid point. For the added weight, the pistols utility today as a general issue arm is debatable. For at least the past 100 years the role of the handgun in combat has diminished to the point that its importance is almost nil except for some highly specialized situations. It has been retained partly as a status symbol and partly as a matter of convenience for some personnel. But I believe it is its psychological value that is the strongest reason for such passionate support for its continued use. While I am not suggesting we abandon it, I do believe that we should consider taking a page from past British military doctrine and allow personnel to acquire their own personal sidearms and ammunition if they prefer them to the issue pistol and cartridge. That should make everyone happy.

    2. @ Colonel K,

      Your opinion is just that, pure opinion. However, facts clearly show your statement is far from qualifying as anything close to a reality, and even borders on irresponsible.

      The role of the sidearm in combat AORs is every bit as valid today as it has ever been, if not more so. Questioning its existence or even the extent to which it may be issued is not even a topic for debate.

      Moreover, it is ludicrous for you to suggest millions of tax dollars are spent annually by DoD to maintain sidearms – which you have now relegated to serving a purpose as nothing more than a security blanket of psychological value. How utterly insulting.

    3. G-man sounds like one of those butter bars that everyone hates because he kisses so much butt to other officers and is a yes man. Using military acronyms in an illogical way? AORs? Really? Even an area within an area will have the need for different weapons. An M9 is a joke, it is heavier than its better counterparts, and is not as reliable. So yes, the weight matters. If it were an HK or even a Sig then the weight may not be that important but it is an M9, which is pretty much a heavy High Point.

      So G-Man, are Colt M4s the most supreme weapons because they have a contract with the military? They are pieces of crap that are literally no different than DPMS, Bushmaster, or Wyndham Weaponry. But guys like you will say that they are the pinnacle of rifles.

      Guys like you are why the military is so retarded with its stupid rules and illogical ways. Whether it is the molle’d ruck sack, the FLC tactical vest, or fire guard, the military’s decisions are literally retarded thanks to idiot officers who became leaders by getting a liberal arts degree while doing ROTC.

      The only place an overweight unreliable M9 belongs is in an overweight MP’s holster.

    4. @ Andy,

      Your comments are mean-spirited and quite unwarranted. Hopefully if you take the time to go back and read my comments starting with the last entry on page one, you will read how embarrassingly wrong you are to have laid into me as you did.

      There you will find my disdain for the M9 and how I cite the corruption behind how this clunker made it into our arsenal. On page 2 you will find even more comments showing my expertise and again where I cite my dislike for this weapon.

      Where you made your mistake is by jumping into the middle of a comment several pages later without any sense of continuity. Regardless, I could forgive you for that as we don’t all have time to read every single post, however, you still failed miserably to comprehend what I actually wrote in that which you did read.

      If you’ll go back and more carefully re-read what you think you read, you will see that nowhere in my response to Colonel K did I ever support the M9. My position is overly supported by my previous posts on pages 1 and 2. Instead, our discussion evolved purely around military necessity for sidearms in a combat realm in general and K’s outrageous assertion that it (regardless of the type) is only still around for psychological comfort and a sense of security.

      Unlike you, I don’t even agree the M9 belongs in an MP’s holster, otherwise for the most part you and I would agree. However, based on your personality which allowed you to launch a halfcocked troll attack to begin with, I doubt you possess the character that would allow you to give me a much warranted apology. I won’t hold my breath.

    5. G-Man,

      Yes, it is my opinion, and it comes from three decades of military service (hence the ‘Colonel’ in my nickname), including active involvement in DoD combat arms testing, training development, maintenance, acquisition, and deployment. I’m now retired and spend my time as a licensed firearms manufacturer, firearms developer, and NRA Counselor. I’m also an experimental psychologist by training, so I ask you to present the facts that support your position, rather than engaging in ad hominem attacks on me. Bullying tactics serve no purpose other than to silence opposition. That is quite the opposite of the function of this website, which is to encourage debate and discourse.

    6. Tom questions weight of M9 which is 2.1lbs unload, 2.55lbs loaded. ad in two more magazines at .45lbs each and we are talking three pounds not including holster. So yes there are lighter pistols out there.

      Coronel K takes it a step further, thinks pistol kind of an old hold over. Instead of attacking him on that, why not show me why that 3lbs isn’t better off with say thee more magazines for his rifle for roughly same weight.

    7. See my problem here is other than saying you dislike the M9 G-Man, what have you added to the discussion at hand. One post as to what caliber or weapon you would like and maybe a reason for it. I want to “actually pay closer attention to my thoughts “on the subject. Pretty easy to sit back and attack everyone else. Isn’t that a true troll

    8. @ Ed,

      I am sorry that you were on the uncomfortable end of what should have been an educational and informative experience towards your learning process. It was your decision to respond several times with attempts to insist that sometimes a magazine can be called a clip when it can’t. That was your choice, not mine.

      But just because you were dissatisfied with the final outcome of our dialogue after your failed attempt to turn it into a debate is no reason to now decide my contribution to your edification was of a trolling nature. Who was really doing the trolling here?

      For those truly being sincere about acquiring and expanding their knowledge here, they are usually able to easily identify which comments are contributions from those that are not. They also understand and appreciate that those spreading incorrect information simply need to be corrected by others that know better. This is because such corrections in and of itself are also considered very important and valid contributions.

      Once an incorrect bit of information is spread as if it were a fact, it needs to be corrected for the sake of everyone else interested in truly learning a thing, even if it does spin a bit off topic. Anyone that broods over someone else properly correcting them that an apple is an apple and an orange is an orange simply doesn’t respect that words really do matter in life and do lend to your credibility or discredit just the same.

      Everyone should always have the utmost respect for the language they speak as it is the primary mechanism by which we express ourselves and therefor defines who we are as individuals. Words really do matter to the serious.

    9. I didn’t feel uncomfortable listening to some blow hole English professor. I take that with a grain of salt.

      Don’t recall “insisting,” Said I understand why it is that way. The insisting was you, it could not.

      So now professor that you are done enlightening and correcting everyone You think some how you might be able to give some sort of dissertation on the subject, since once again you have offered no substance to the actual discussion.

    10. @ Ed,

      Well see now there you go again thinking words don’t matter. At no time has there been a need for me to correct “everyone”; there was only a few of you that required correcting and that has clearly been accomplished.

      Also for someone that wasn’t uncomfortable about our dialogue you sure spent quite a few recent posts whining about me.

      And who died and left you as forum moderator anyway? Proclaiming I need to get back on topic when it was you that launched the off-topic diatribe in defense of improper grammar over clips to begin with.

      Project much?

    11. @ Colonel K,

      I challenge your notion that you were ever an officer, as that would have required an education greater than a high school diploma. I say this because any proper college graduate, let alone one that aspired to the rank of colonel, would at a minimum know when they’ve misused the term, “ad hominem”.

      And since you’ve turned this into a d*ck measuring contest, for the record my military experience is sitting at just over 33 years and counting, as I have not yet retired. Over those three plus decades I have been deployed and/or stationed all over the world. Running consecutive with my active duty and later reserve activations, I am a full-time federal law enforcement agent as well.

      My federal career has been quite disrupted over the past 2 decades. In particular, those disruptions have been due to multiple and long-term activations which deployed me to combat AORs in the middle-east; with possibly one more coming up before I retire. My specialty classifier, which I will not divulge, requires that I deploy with joint military task-forces and thus I must maintain a vast knowledge and understanding of joint military command structure, control, operations, weapons, and tactics.

      Bullying is a term used by kids on a playground and not former officers of our military. There was nothing bullish about my statement to you. It was direct, to the point, and quite warranted given your outrageous and unfounded assertions. As a former officer (you claim) then you should have easily identified my directness as such.

      However, the balance of my statement was not so much intended for you, as it was tailored more for the other non-military forum members to alert them as to how exceptionally extreme and despicably irresponsible your assertion really was. Your statement overwhelming screams that you haven’t an ounce of combat experience; otherwise you could never have even considered making such an ill-informed and unqualified statement.

      When I contrast your outrageous assertions with my direct combat experiences and all the dead I’ve had to carry out, and the wives and children I’ve had to face, you really have no idea how preposterous your statements actually came across.

      For you to proclaim the military sidearm’s importance has been “diminished to nil” and is now a “status symbol” which serves more of a “psychological value” to the service men and women than it does as valid lifesaving tool, clearly says there is no possible way you ever served a day in our U.S. Armed Forces.

      And if for some odd reason you actually did serve, then you should be ashamed of yourself to have made such a statement. At a minimum I would have had you removed from any command for a loss of confidence after having made such remarks.

      And as for facts, your assumption that such rhetoric is worthy of debate exists in your mind and yours alone. It is upon you to present supporting facts in the face of such a deviant proposition which is clearly in contrast with current military doctrine. Therefor it is you that bears the burden and must bring forth supporting facts, not I.

      But if you continue to harbor any doubt, my facts had already been presented to the public well before I ever uttered a word to you. My facts indisputably exist in the millions of past and present Armed Forces that are trained, equipped, carry, and deploy their defensive sidearms for which they’ve depended upon to this date and beyond.

    12. You’re so full of sh#@…LOL. I’ve never experienced such a self righteous pompous liar except those who wash out wannabes. Since you “brought up” your illustrious military/federal careers, please post your top secret name rank superman.Or should I just call you “Clark”…LOL. Stfu douchebag.

    13. @Bzil Maf,
      I wouldn’t be too concerned with whatever his rank is or years of service. Anyone can sit out a job for just short of forever and even advance. I am sure there are some excellent Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, or Marines who didn’t get advanced for one reason or another, just as some morons make it all the way to the top. And to stay on topic, I will say this: they may or may not have carried a M1911 or an M9. ????

    14. @ bzil maf,

      You know I could come back with a bit of tit-for-tat antidotal sarcasm and be as rude as you have to me, but for some reason I don’t feel that way. Instead for some reason I actually feel sad for you. So I want to share an earnest perspective with you. And though I know it will fall on deaf ears (so-to-speak) and be met with more rudeness and sarcasm, I’m going to give it a shot anyway…

      I try, but could never fully imagine what must be going on inside the mind of a person like you that can’t accept someone else’s accomplishments, success, or status in life. It is twofold really…

      – From my perspective the reason I could never imagine what you must go through is because I have always been driven for success. I simply don’t know what it must feel like for you.

      – And from your perspective I can only suppose the reason you have a hard time accepting my or anyone else’s success is because you have always found it unattainable for yourself. And therefor since it has been such an unachievable prospect in your life, when you hear of others successes, you immediately feel it to be unbelievable and thus hard to accept.

      What you are really doing is lashing out at me – which is actually displaced anger for what you perceive as your own failures. It actually stems from a deep seeded envy. There is no other rationalization to explain why you would blow up and call my life BS. You’re quite sad actually.

      But there is a simple solution to alleviate yourself from such rage: Just don’t compare your life to mine. It is that simple. Be thankful for what you have achieved within your own abilities and learn to call that success.

      And so Mr. Vespucci, I wish to leave you with one last sincere bit of advice – you are never too old to follow those dreams you thought you had to give up. Attitude is everything, and you have a really bad one right now. It doesn’t take much to change, and it can happen overnight if you really want it to.

      With a better new found attitude towards yourself and others you truly begin to believe again; and when that happens, then as you think – so you shall become. That includes success.

    15. G-man and Col K.,
      Thank both of you for your service. Can we move on now? Keep the peace, agree to disagree. Have my own troll on here.
      Thanks and keep up the good fight, not this one,

    16. Reflect back to when battle action was a little different but our guys couldn’t stop Phillipinos with their issue .38 Long Colts. Presto–the .45 ACP chambered in 1911’s solves the problem. No need to find out that the guy that has your back has picked a plastic 9mm for his sidearm and you are out of ammo which happens to be .45 ACP. Doesn’t fit your pistol. Or the armorer needs to replace the ejector–but can he carry one for every make? Standardization is the key.

    1. I’m glad someone said it. Thank you,Tom. One thing I have noticed is that everyone will have their favorite gun/ weapon or whatever THEY want to call it and even though some have already stated this or that stat about it, someone else is going to get upset, call someone a name, insult them (either thinly veiled or just outright) so just say something to point of “they don’t know spit”. It makes for great reading for awhile but after so much of it, it gets old and any discussion that was being had on a particular subject loses it’s legitimacy and it just becomes a waste of time. I tend to overlook an incorrect use of nomenclature because I understand what is being said. Other than that, I agree with Tom, that one dude is content to be a jerk. F him and his clips and magazines. I’ll call them what I want.

    2. Alex thanks for making my original point.

      August 31, 2015 at 4:48 am | #

      Yay you know the difference. I’m fairly confident he like 99% of people that follow this do.

      Mirrors your “I tend to overlook an incorrect use of nomenclature because I understand what is being said.”

      If you read the rest of that post you would see I did try to engage on the topic. As you would of liked.

    3. As for you szabo, you don’t know me. You can go eat a dick. I haven’t flipped hamburgers since I was in high school.

    4. And another thing szabo, let’s get off wives and mothers if that is where you were going next, because I just got off yours

    5. Hey szablo, you still there? Haven’t heard from you lately. Fugging your pet goat? Oh, excuse me. Your pig. You’re married to her? Sorry, bro. My mistake.

    6. Oh, I’m here, Alex, as you reveal the more of your ignorance in language and your childish bathroom humor. You portray yourself as a contributor to knowledge, but fall short due to your failure to learn how to learn. No comments or defaming my name hurts me, as it just deepens the opinion everyone has of you being a novice regarding firearms and a crybaby when someone tries to correct your arrogant demeanor as you stonewall your own ability to continue hour education. Why not just try to learn from anyone that tries to help you, instead of showing what a baby you are? You’ll be farther ahead. Otherwise, it’s mind over matter: I don’t mind because you don’t matter. Jesus loves you, Alex, but everyone else thinks you’re an asshole; and Jesus cries because He sees what you do every night when you’re alone. ???????? No matter what opinion you have on pistols!

    7. @ Jeff Szabo,

      I don’t mean to encourage you, but that was the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. I can’t stop laughing… “By the way, your wife’s a whore”, just keeps playing over and over in my mind. I’ll be cracking up for quite some time. Regardless of which end of this you are on, people have to give it to you as one of the all-time best replies ever… on any forum.

      …”By the way, your wife’s a whore”, I can’t stop laughing…

    8. So not every definition to your liking. Yeah was being an Ahole but that was my point. So was he for jumping on this sidebar instead of what was actually being discussed. To replace the M9 and for the reason to do it or just upgrade and why. The original post was describing reasons for the 45 over the 9mm. Instead of actually commenting on that.

      G-man basic only posted directly to the discussion was though he could shoot expert with a M9 even with small hands, he didn’t like it. Which is kind of a wash. To me like saying, yeah better tools out there but it gets job done. At least while qualifying, don’t want to put words in his mouth whether or not he thinks the 9mm is adequate or not. He never says.

  12. We used 45 cal. pistol ammo and 30 cal. rifle ammo to defeat all our enemies, until the Pentagon got stupid. Our soldiers should be given the best sidearm available. What that is should be decided by the soldiers who have to use them. Not some desk jockeys in Washington.

  13. Yes I do think the berreta should be replaced with S&W M&P striker fired hand gun. Many police departments have purchased these fine firearms, and to reasure You that they are, I own one and have never had a problem. I beleive the decocker type firearm is of the last generation , and should be repaced by a firearms maker that has been in America for many years. VJ Engel- Holgate Ohio

  14. Now that I’m off the road I have time to read comments and replies. With the exception of few posters (you know who you are) I have come to several conclusions:

    There are a lot of STUPID people with firearms.

    There are a lot of people who can’t stay on topic.

    There are a lot of people who served that aren’t/weren’t issued sidearms.

    There are a lot of people who don’t understand the logistics and semantics of the discussion and military’s options.

    Why are people talking about 6.8 and 5.56?
    Why are people talking about their personal “ruger” with some non topic hand load and a scope that they hunt bear with?

    MOST here who served never shot a person. No matter what round or manufacturer.

    Most here don’t comprehend their is NO comparison between what an police officer carries and chooses for ammunition vs what the military does.

    It’s quite embarrassing to be lumped in with many who have no clue or probably shouldn’t own firearms.

    I hope those anti gun members of society don’t come into these chats/blogs and get a year or two worth of ammo (pun intended) to argue the case for stricter gun laws.

    Stay on topic.

    1. OOOK wow lol ,cant leave for a second TheM9 in combat against the type of threats we face and will be facing as well as the 5.56 meaning -rebel insurgents ,armed civilian militia ,taliban ,isis etc. these are not the regular follw the rules and chain of command types .They get very powerful narcotics and other substances makes them VERY HARD TO KILL As a SSGT who has used and seen the actual non lethality of both after mutiple body hits and having to go to head shots to stop the threats they both need replaced ,end of discussion as well as the long ranges we at times need to engage these threats at of more than 400 meters .A handgun was always preached to us as a way to get another long gun of w/e type and stay in the fight long enough to do so 1 shot kills are needed in that kind of engagements in urban cities as well as others .Give us back our big bores army ordinance .

    2. Damian, your remarks about the deadliness of hand gun rounds against people on drugs, brought to mind a story from a Wyoming State Police Trooper I encountered years ago. At the time they, like so many departments carried the .41 Magnum. The Trooper in question made a traffic stop on this individual, the perp stepped from his vehicle with a large knife and charged the trooper. The trooper opened fire at 10ft, firing as he backed away from the charging man. The Trooper who was firing center mass, told me that with the 6th round he had opened a hole in the man’s chest that he could see through. the perp dropped the knife, yet managed to get his hands on the Troopers throat. According to the Trooper, it was determined that the man was on P.C.P. and was actually dead after the first shot, but just didn’t know about it. This tale begs the question, In this type of situation, is any hand gun round powerful enough to stop some drug crazed lunatic. My question: Would a rifle round or shotgun blast have stopped him?

    3. @ Roy ,
      well every time i saw a haji RG or insurgent rebel hit with an M14 from any range out to 800 meters at times yes 1 shot they were out of the fight most times drt but you do not go looking you eleminate what you see ia a direct threat you see 0 movement through optics for few seconds you look for another target of opportunity . As far as the state trooper the first mistake was the caliber the 41 mag most all times will shoot clean through a man just as the 9mm will a 41 mag in a hollow point at that range still right through where as most 45 acp rounds carried for police and self defense do not they stay in the target depositing all the energy but even with ball ammo 230 grain ammo which my uncle roland used in second marines in pacific and my dad carried in his tank in north africa italy ,anzio invasion ,italy and belgium the 1911 only took 1 round to decleat the attacker in other words it knocked most all off their feet on spot but it moves much slower than the 41 mag as well so my answer would be a yes if that state trooper had a 45 acp handgun at that range yes first shot would at least have buckled him enough for the head shot if needed or follow up shots and he would never have reached him . My choice for nato as far as sidearm for our troops and theirs is the MAC 3011 SSD .45. 15 round mags of 45 acp set up for gun fighting and super fast tactical reloads in this yrs 2016 buyers guide from the gun annual mag.few small tweaks perfect combat handgun to me .

    4. Damian, sometimes, your are force, or required to use the weapon that is issued to you. Was never a fan of the .41 Mag. but some departments were. Police Dept. that I was on, so many years ago, though we furnished our own weapons, carried S&W s in .38 Special. There were no rules in place that required this, just what they did. I showed up with a Colt Trooper loaded with .357 Mag. and immediately, people, my supervisor especially, starts giving me crap. So it is what it is. Like someone said one time, “You dance with the one what brought you”.

    5. Agreed officers most times do not get a choice of what is issued same as we miltary personel do not get a choice , my point was that along with the model 10 .38 special ,the 41 mag ,the 357 mag all at 1 time were police dept issue calibers . The officers using them made numerous complaints of overpenetration and non lethality with 1 round .That led to most going to the 45 acp autoloader then led to the 9mm lugar into the .40 s&w caliber most use now as police officers .The .40 cal or the .45 acp are both superior manstopper rounds at close range with the right bullets and do not overpenetrate as most all 9mm,s or magnum calibers will at the ranges officers get into a fire fight at which normally is less than 15 ft .Unfortunately the switch to autoloading pistols has led to the police now putting 20 rounds or more into suspects with numerous officers firing at same time and same perp which i think is unjustified in law enforcement unless said perp is armed with a high cap long gun putting 20 rounds into a guy that charged with a hammer or even a knife or hatchet which is happening all over is overkill to me and unecceSSARY use of that platform in my honest opinion. This is what is leading to many of the problems police now face they go into instant overkill and are more praramilitary than police officers now at times . Until they tone down the paramiltary look they prtray the problems along with the fact of overkill of 20 to 30 rounds in 1 perp ?will just lead to more hatred of the police by some people ,myself i will always respect police officers but they have gone too much into overkill paramilitary mode for AMERICA and that is not good for them or us law abiding citizens who carry daily in self defense.

    If the answer is YES, then the 9mm is a poor choice.

    If the answer is NO, then the 9mm is probably acceptable, however, I opt for a .40 cal.

  16. Alex, I wasn’t sure if the full email addr would go thru here or not, so just remove the extra spaces.

  17. I wonder, are our troops fighting terrorists restricted to ball ammo or do they get to use more effective modern ammo? Al Qaida, Boko Haram, et al aren’t signatories to the Geneva convention so I hope our troops are getting to use the most effective ammo against them!

  18. Spence, I looked online for 148gn +P 9mm, but I could not find any with ballistics. But I do have in my Balistics Excel file a Hornady
    147g bullet, and it delivers only 310 muzzle ft lbs. If you want my Excel file, email me at vlavalle @ You may be amazed at how weak the 9mm cartridge is.

  19. The M9 is a joke. Anyone who thinks its a great weapon has no idea what they’re talking about. I always hear from guys at gun stores that if someone comes in asking about M9s they know not to take them serious.

  20. I agree with some of those writing comments. I served in the Marine Corps from 1969 through 1990 and retired. I was there when the change from the 1911 45 cal. to the Beretta 9mm. It was under powered then and is still under powered. The .45 cal. stopped the aggression with one shot where as the 9 mm round normally took 3 or 4. So the theory that because the 9 mm was a lighter ammo and the troops could carry more ammo with less weight. But when you do the math it just doesn’t come out that way. Two 9 mm rounds weigh about the same as one .45 cal. But with 4 rounds for a stop to one round, we were carrying not enough ammo.

    1. You must have horrible aim then. Or you’re completely fabricating that comment. Or you’re just a much better aimer with the 45. If the military had real ballistics and weapons experts comprised in its ranks then they’d be getting Glock 19s or FNS 9s. Branches mess up big time when they ask officers for their opinions too. I know Marines that also say how M4s are the best rifles made, just because that is what they’re issued just like they say that about M9s. I guess you guys don’t know yet that the military issues very sub-par products to its personnel. If you all got the best you’d be out there with Scars and HK pistols. I’m just a former Army combat solider with a brain who doesn’t look at stuff with bias or nostalgia, so what do I really know?

  21. I think that they should upgrade to a Glock. It’s the easiest gun to learn on and some of the people in the Military wene they first join they never have used a pistal before.

    1. Now you and I both know that this would be the smartest choice the military could make in regards to price and quality, so you should know that the military officers in charge will NOT do that. Those morons will end up going with 1911s or something. When did you know officers to ever do the smart thing?

  22. Tired of the 9mm vs .45 diatribe. Been settled by too many publucations quoting an polliing too many experts to count. Using a quality expanding round now that the Geneva Convention nonsense is being disregarded disintegrated the ‘knock down’ power psychobabble. The point of the article was, does it make more sense to accept Beretta upgrades or scrap and do another lengthy, exspensive, bribe-infested ‘study’.

    The soldiers I know and talk to seldom to never rely on their sidearm.

    I own a great .45 Ruger SR1911 and SR45, 9mm Glock 17, Beretta 92FS, a .40 Walther, and a little 9mm Bersa BP9CC. I am just as accurate with all of them, meaning I hit center mass out to 40 feet.

    Rather be hitting with M4 at 100-150 meters, but would still rather have it than handgun any distance further than 21 feet.

    Here’s a flipping novel idea. Poll current combat experienced veterans and leave the arm chair experts like all of us commenting here, lobbyists, politicians, and even manufacturers’ opinions as just that; opinions.

    The best comment on here was one made about putting and end to limits on training ammo.

    One less flipping Hellfire missle taking out a building where a ‘possible’ target is would fund a whole year’s worth of training for what; 50-90% of ground pounding troops?

  23. I don’t like plastic guns no matter how well they function. I like more weight in the weapon******* i’m not sure why anyone in combat would want more weight, when it’s not necessary

  24. Just remember that if Obama and the small arms treaty BS has its way, gun all together will be off the table for the U.S. in general. Our troops will be using Nerf baseball bats and paintball guns to defeat our enemies like ISIS.

  25. Dan, I have to agree with @barantos in that the 9mm has very little power, and hence, very little stopping power. The 45 ACP is 35%-50% more powerfull. So, the only part of your statement that is correct is that the clip holds more ammo. This is a theory of more (quntity) is better than power (‘quality’). If you life was depending on a hand gun, why would you want a pea shooter?

    If you are interested, I have an Excel file with handgun ballistics listed for many calibers, as well as some large military weapons. From this you will see clearly how the 9mm is a weak round. If you are intersted, email me at vlavelle @

    Vincent (08-30-15)

    1. It doesn’t have a clip! None of these have clips! They all use MAGAZINES;!!!

      No clips! It’s hard to take anyone seriously if they can’t even differentiate between the two.

    2. Vincent thinks he is still at the beauty salon getting his toenails painted and getting the Brazilian wax job done for his Mr.

      Just be sure that all of the clips are out of you hair before you leave and go home to your daddy.

    3. Vector16, blame all of this ‘clip’ instead of magazine on Hollywood. Too, I would never trust a man that couldn’t tell the difference between a ‘stripper-clip’ and a magazine. Way back in the dark ages, when I was in Basic Training, if we had even used ‘clip’ for magazine, our DI would have had us doing push-ups until we dropped dead.

    4. Jeffy Szabo, was in 1965-68. Was the old army, where if you mouthed off to a DI, after you picked yourself up off the ground, you do push-ups until you dropped. My, how things have changed. They have ‘stress’ cards now. Poor babies, DI can’t yell at them for 5 minutes after they flash that card. Anyway, we had stripper clips to top off you magazine and magazines that held the ammo. And yea, called my rifle a gun twice, before I realized that I was going to drop dead if I didn’t wise up.

    5. lmao ,OUCH ok then lol yea i recall 100,s of pushups for making the mistake of calling my weapon my gun or my rifle a rifle or gun , it is always a weapon in military . It stays with you at all times when deployed. ,eat,sleep,use the head in feild etc. same with calling a magaZINE a clip lol not good in military unless you just love doing pt all night and day .

    6. Yay you know the difference. I’m fairly confident he like 99% of people that follow this do. So you felt like jumping in with that on a real discussion. I find it hard to take anyone seriously that can’t comment on a point but point out crap like this, or a spelling/typo.

      Now as to the discussion Vincent was eluding to… is the 45acp stronger round unequivocally yes. Your flaw is in the think theory of power (quality) is always better than more (quantity). It isn’t. If that was true and I had a single shot Thompson/Center built in .500 S&W Magnum it should be king.

      So know we come to a battlefield, is one shot practical of course not. Size and weight are astronomical. The .500 S&W Magnum recoil is atrocious. The 1911 or newer plastic gun wins out even though the .500 S&W has so much more power than the 45acp.

      Now to balance against a 9mm. Number of rounds in 9mm favor against either the 1911 platform or plastic faction of Glocks, M&P, and XD’s. What most also forget is the recoil, for most of us we find the 45acp to be easy to shoot, but we are not the average recruit with little/no experience shooting anything. I wouldn’t want to shoot 44 magnums all day either. That is what it is like to smaller stature soldiers shooting a 45acp.

      The 9mm is far from a pea shooter. Shoot in ten ring will drop target. If a 32 from a PP Walther can kill you what is your 45acp round doing? over killing by 50%? What is your 9mm doing? Dang he only got 125% dead. Dead is dead.

      Like many things in life it is all about the balance. I think we all tend to pick what we like and say hey the Army ought to use this. But the Army has to get the 110lb recruit with small hands to be able to shoot that weapon well and accurately also. For that reason I believe the 45acp is out.

      Oh and yes I carry a Commander. Then again I am not a 110lbs. recruit with small hands who has never shot before.

    7. Well, pilgrim, if they know the difference, please tell me why they write something else? Yes, the discussion is pistols; however, please point out why it is not important enough to use the right words while discussing the point? On any subject, ones knowledge about something, or the strength of his argument, lies upon the proper usage of terms. You can get killed in certain situations by not properly using the right terminology. Of course, not in this case, however, why would you listen to a higher argument from someone who doesn’t even portray the simplest knowledge of terms at a lower value if the argument. That is usually a sign of cherry picking. Would you value such lessons taught from someone that appears to not know the rudimentary concepts of a subject yet expects you to grasp and trust his higher learning when you know he can’t even express the simpler terms of the discussion, which indicates no knowledge of the subject at hand?
      Do you not think that communication, using correct terminology, in any case, or any subject, is important? That seems to be the problem with most everyone today; just use the wrong words and everybody else has to put up with it? The world gets dumber and dumber and no one cares?

    8. While I generally agree that using the correct term is important, say when writing a law, things need to be defined. I tend to blame the WWII GI for the loosing of the term partly do to the M1 Garand. They were using clips to load them and tended to transfer that term over to magazines when speaking of charging a 1911A1. So if my WWII uncle who was an Army armor, worked for Stevens and then Savage would use them interchangeably occasionally (sort of like in writing how you hate to keep using the same descriptor) I am not going to think that his vast knowledge on the subject is tainted.

    9. @ Ed,

      This goes way beyond a simple typo. As one of the 99%, I find it hard to consider ones opinion for valid consideration when they don’t know the difference between a clip (used to load ammo into the magazine), versus the magazine itself. It is NEVER a mistake, as is a typo, when one uses the word clip in lieu of magazine, but rather it is simply a sign of an uninformed person. So why would I waste time reading their opinion thereafter?

    10. G-Man, So should I disregard your thoughts since you failed to mention a clip can also be used to charge a gun directly as in the case of the M1 Garand or from stripper clips directly into say a Springfield1903 or SKS and not just a magazine as you stated.

    11. @ Ed,

      Not at all, you should actually pay closer attention to my thoughts. That and you should actually attempt to better educate yourself on gun systems before trying to come off as a smartass in your responses. That way you would maybe learn that the area in those guns you are referring to load, (not charge) with those clips are in-fact also called a magazine.

      Do you really wish to continue?

    12. I’ll give you the load/charge. When I think M1 you are correct charging is the bolt going home. There is the rub though I do actually know the difference but hurrying I put down the other. But now you want to call a 10-rd stripper clip for a SKS a magazine? You could go with a basic definition then of magazine- A place where ammunition is stored. Such as referring to a building.

    13. @ Ed,

      Nowhere did I ever “call a 10-rd stripper clip for a SKS a magazine?” The area that the stripper clip feeds the ammo is a magazine. Whether it is fixed or removable, the capacity for a weapon to store rounds will always be in a magazine. Whereas the metal strip which holds the rounds prior to loading the magazine will always be a clip. There is no way to confuse the two as they both serve very distinct and separate purposes. Could you please stop wasting my time and go read up on the SKS and then come back and apologize? I think everyone else that really knows guns would much appreciate that. Thanks.

    14. Can I get a copy of your ammo list? Would be interested in seeing your comparisons. I have been a fan of’s Ammo Quest series and he already did .380 and is doing the 9mm now.Will probably do .40 and .45 in the future and would like to see your comparisons.

    15. Is that including the 148gn +P 9mm? It seems a better round for stopping power and is used by some Leo. I love the 45acp round but for some reason the .40s&w seems harder for me to control accuracy.

  26. I still don’t understand why the military dumped the 1911 .45. Why couldn’t it be upgraded to fit someone’s off the wall standard? Could it be that some other manufacturer had acquired enough clout (ie: campaign contributions) to influence someone in the Pentagon to order a change? Just whose weapon does fit 100% of their criteria ………

  27. I carried a Beretta 92 for 17 years as a police officer, the last 14 years as the Sgt.-in-charge of firearms training for a large metropolitan department. The gun was more accurate than the vast majority of officers could shoot, so accuracy isn’t a problem. The pistol is large, however. It is relatively heavy. Smaller statured officers have trouble reaching the trigger which leads to poor marksmanship. As one of the Departmental armorers my experience was that very few reliability issues caused by parts breakage was experienced, but we were police officers, not combat soldiers. The pistol’s design is old, but not as old as the 1911. There will always be concern over 9mm ball ammo’s ability to “perform” but as far as I’m concerned we can scrap the “Geneva Convention”. No one this country has fought in the last 25 years signed that “treaty” and I doubt that will change in the next 50 years. Issue good 9mm expanding bullets. There are manufacturers too numerous to mention that can supply these.
    Last but not least, demand that our military spend as much ammo is necessary to insure those that are issued a pistol are well trained and will be able to bet their lives on their ability to use a pistol. I am not sure that is the case now. If money is a problem for providing proper training maybe we could stop sending foreign aid to countries that hate us and spend it on training, not on more gizmos.

    1. I agree 100%. My 92 is probably my most accurate handgun and it’s amazing we don’t allow our troops to use Speer Gold Dots, Federal HST, etc. We allow police officers to use expanding bullets on American citizens but not on America’s enemies. Amazing!!

    2. All the military needs to do is talk to Homeland security, they have the hollow point hook up.

  28. In my experience with government contracts, the one that bribes the most buyers, (in any aspect of government), gets the contract.

  29. “I understand that a Glock may not be the right gun for the military because it doesn’t have an external safety and military demands one because the troops will have too many NDs… ”

    The military used hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of DA revolvers without manual safeties, and it was not a serious problem. I’ve always wondered why some view this as unacceptable, even heretical, on a semiautomatic pistol.

  30. So the standard NATO 9mm load is a sort of 1/2 +P. Seems like what they really need is a good bullet to stuff in the case without changing the pressure too much. I would favor a 147 grain flat tipped or HP load for better penetration, but my guess is the new bullet will be something lighter, possibly a 124 grain HP.

  31. Just because I like the M9 does not make me a 1911 or Glock hater. If the gun works for you, fine. Glocks are good guns, no doubt, but not my cup of tea. I don’t like plastic guns no matter how well they function. I like more weight in the weapon, hence the Beretta, which not only feels good but dampens felt recoil. I have arthritis and I appreciate anything that softens the kick. When I was younger I could shoot anything. Now I’m on the wrong side of 70 and don’t shoot big-bore guns any more. 9mm and .38 special are my limits.

    I appreciate all the comments on this topic, pro and con. I like when these discussions are conducted in a civil and respectful manner. There’s no need for name-calling or criticism of someone just because they prefer one gun over another. After all, we Americans are all on the same team or should be.

  32. Look, they have been modifying the M16 for 50 some years. Why not just get the rifle that you really wanted, in a caliber that will do the job? SO we’ve been getting bigger and bigger bullets, longer and shorter barells, piston upgrades, red-dot, holographic sites. Pick a rifle and pistol that meet the criteria of “combat tools” by combat people and leave out the accountants and salesmen. Then we might get a decent tool. The Garand stayed in use for a long time just as it was, because it was a good basic platform. The M14 was a Garand with a replaceable 20rnd mag(which it had in the beginning). Why not accept that we made a bad choice in the AR. We’ve done everything we can just to get a short M-14? 223’s have gone from 55grs, 62grs and are up at 77-110grs, 6.8mm are bigger.
    Just about everybodies’ lightweight ,”Sweet-16″ has put on several pounds to get it really usable.
    We need to quit fooling around and pick a real, good basic rifle!

    1. 100% agree the 5.56 time has come n gone the places and kind of threats we face today in places like iraq and syria the ranges we could be engaging them at needs to be much longer now then in jungles of se asia the m4 lacks even more firepower at range we need a .30 cal or at least a 6.8 mm with punch ,long range ballistics ,and a rifle is capable of working 100% of the time like the fn-scar in 6.8 spc no matter if we are pinned down for days and do not have have the time to clean it well in any weather conditions we may face. we face insurgents and rebels most always now do they even know what geneva and the convention even is lol? most times NOOOOOOOOOOOO they have no clue and will use anything they can get to throw at us .geneva means 0 to them but we have those damn ROE’S and rules to follow.

  33. Honestly, it all depends on the military’s comment to training. I believe that 223cal & 9mm were designed for people who can’t shoot. Not just that, but people who don’t want to spend time at the range. During my stint, we made few trips to the range after basic. And not much there. I have allways wondered about the “our basic role is infantry” line. They sure didn’t act like it.

  34. I own a Beretta 92FS “accurized” by the Army armorer (David Sams) who figured out how to make the Beretta M9 accurate enough for service pistol competition to compete with the iconic Model 1911. I still prefer the 1911 for service pistol competition and daily carry (but in .38 Super for the latter chore). The M9 is oversized to the point that folks with “normal-sized” hands can’t reach the trigger in double-action mode. Its locking-block system is a 1930s design that few other handguns have employed since it’s prone to breakage. Its 9mmP chambering is adequate if the Army goes through with upgrading to 9mmP Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) bullets, especially in the higher pressure “+P” loading, but the Beretta has a hard enough time now with reliability over time using the NATO 124 gr standard pressure load. Navy SEALs rejected the M9 out of hand, and went with the SIG Sauer P226 which, by the way, was the pistol the Beretta beat out on price (not performance) in the 1980s competition. No, it’s time to move on.

    1. M-9 too big? Do you have a congenitally small hand. My 61 year old sister.5’5” can and does shoot the civilian version of the m-9 offer and with skill and control. I own 5 SIG’s and over 12 years have put hundreds of rounds through them …no breakage or misfunctions. But then I am NRA trained and I clean my weapons before and after shooting. Too big? Really?

    2. The SAAMI pressure limit for the 9×19mm Parabellum is set at 241.32 MPa (35,001 psi) piezo pressure.

      The SAAMI pressure limit for the 9×19 mm Parabellum +P is set at 265.45 MPa (38,500 psi) piezo pressure.

      The 9 mm NATO is over pressured from the standard round. The service pressure Pmax of the 9 mm NATO is rated at 252 MPa (36,500 psi) piezo pressure.

  35. I love my M9. 18 rounds of +p hollow points and able to bring it right back on target quickly. Most people can fire a Beretta better than they can any other standard 9 mm. Especially if it is their standard side arm. More to the point, the new threaded barrel , slightly longer, suppressed if desired, which removes even more recoil and you only need 1 well placed shot per enemy. Even using a mini suppressor which only reduced notice level you would result in 2 clips equaling 5 clips of your 1911.

  36. Glocks however are legendary for taking abuse and continuing to run. I love my 1911, but full of grit and dirt, it’s a club.

    1. on the armor the enemy usually wears
    2. on the reliability of the pistol
    3. on the quality and frequency of pistol training
    4. on NATO acceptance of new cartridges

    If I had to go into combat:
    PISTOL -> Glock 19 (W/9mm +P hollow point ammo)
    SUBGUN -> FN P90 (W/5.7X28 NATO cartridge) (Hey, I already like my PS90 and its 50 round mags)
    ASSAULT RIFLE -> Steyr AUG (I’d love NATO to go to 6.8 SPC or 6.5 GRENDEL)

  38. James, I own 2 Ruger Blackhawk revolvers – a 357 mag and convertible 45 colt/ACP hand gun. I shoot all kinds of ammo, including the hottest loads available on the market (I do not reload my own anymore since it is almost as expensive for these calibers). I shoot standard loads and medium ones, and very hot loads. As for the 45 ACP hot loads (Atomic at 1225 fps and 616 ft lbs) it is noticeably hotter with some kick, but nothing I would consider as any kind of an issue. On the other hand, hot 357 loads really do kick and are very load, and hot 45 Colt loads (1450 fps & 1214 ft lbs) have tremendous kick and volume. So, the 45 ACP +P load is quite mild, but given it has 50% more power than the standard 45 ACP load (or the hottest 9 mm +P load) it is worth the slight kick difference.

    1. Vincent,
      For my own use, I love my 1911 and my HK 45, but I’m a big guy. I’ve seen women half my size on the line to qual in the military, and the Army will be trying to buy for them too.

      If it were my call, I would have the Army buy a semi-modular family, with the same controls and training manual, but multiple frames in 9mm and .45cal. The compact 9mm issued to aviators and such wouldn’t be convertible to the full-size 45s carried by the infantry, but they aren’t today–many aviators carry the M11 instead of the M9.

      What I hope the Army doesn’t do is put too much value on modularity. 99% of their weapons will never need to be converted or modified beyond replacing grip panels for hand size, so it is cheaper to just buy a few extra than to mandate every weapon issued be fully modular.

    2. I pistol hunt whitetail here in Ohio valley with a Ruger blackhawk in 45 long colt with handloaded +p+loads it is a beast with the 7.5 inch barrel and scoped i use the 300 grain xtp HP moving about 1350 fps plus, it knocks big ohio deer off their hooves lol at 50 to 75 yards and more 1 shot well placed drt. Not getting back up on a man would be devastating round but that cartridge will never see the military again the 9mm nato round is meek and after useing it in combat i think is a joke as a manstopping practical battle field round .Dump it nato now .

  39. Lets face a little bit of reality gentleman. We are all here on a shooting/military site. To say, we are for the most part, shooting enthusiast is not a stretch by any means. So to that end that we for the majority prefer the 45acp to 9mm is of no surprise. Time to get over it.

    They are not buying Wilson Combat Protector’s or Les Baer Custom or any of the other 20 real nice 1911 pistols out there. For a spec op group different story. Like it or not the military isn’t made up of all the same size people, would be really easy ergonomically then if it was to get one size fit all gear. Double stack 45acp magazines are simply to wide for to large a number of members. That kills Glock 21’s and similar M&P’s, XD’s, excreta for most part. The big Army never going back to it.

    10mm way to much recoil ask the FBI. 40S&W not bad but also probably to much for a large group of shooters. The only interesting pistol rounds out now- 5.7x28mm. Think they would have hard time going there.

    Guess they could go some where outside the box. 9x21mm, 9x23mm for straight wall cases or .357 SIG, 9×25mm Super Auto G, or 9×25mm Dillon you want to go bottle necked. 9x21mm not enough improvement over 9x19mm. Now the 9×23 gives a large jump over the NATO round. Maybe even to much. The bottle necks lose a bit since their larger cases would eat into number of rounds per magazine.

    So last man standing is the round we already have. Maybe push to +P+ would help with new bullet.

  40. Justin, I just went and looked up your reference to the Speer Gold Dot Bonded +P 9mm rounds. I added this ammo to my ammo list. But this ‘hot’ 9mm +P round is still very weak. It comes to 410 ft lbs of muzzle energy. The run of the mill 45 acp is just about the same, whereas its +P ammo is between 619-639 ft lbs – well over 50% more powerful. I can’t imagine anyone in a life & death situation wanting to have such a weak round as a 9mm. If you want my list (an Excel file) just email me at vlavalle @

  41. The 1911 is the gun of choice. I own a pair of the 1911’s and I love them. In almost every poll, the 1911 is the revered weapon. It served well in WWII, and it’s still the favorite today. I owned the 9mm model 92. It’s a good gun that holds sixteen rounds, which is eight more that the 1911, but we know which one has the knockdown power. Steven Seagal has also commented on the 1911 being his favorite. Not only is he an actor, but he works with various police departments around the country teaching police officers how to better handle the 1911. I’ve seen the man shoot, and he can make bullet holes inside of bullet holes. I’m sure people will laugh, but they would have to see it for them selves as I did…

  42. I always preferred shooting my best friend’s Taurus 92 over the military issue Beretta 92, so I bought a Taurus 99 for the same reasons you mentioned (I’m a southpaw). Plus the Taurus’s SA carry option with decocker feature for optional DA/SA carry seemed like a solution that would satisfy everyone but DAO fans. I’m surprised it hasn’t curried more favor.

  43. I take very good care of her by cleaning regularly and using brass-only quality ammo.******** Try not cleaning it,with sweat, saltwater, sand, rain and mud in it for a couple of weeks. See how well it runs.

    1. ANY gun not properly maintained and cleaned regularly won’t function well. Under extreme conditions, as you describe, you may run into problems. It’s up to the user to take care of his gear. People take better care of their cars than their guns.

    2. @Joe

      Agreed, and I consider cleaning my guns almost as much fun as shooting them, but I think Tom is talking about the need for a military firearm that can function under the worst of condition. From his other posts, I know he is a Glock fan, and I have shot the thousands of rounds through my Glock 21 since I bought it in 2002 without a single hiccup, and that includes using a LOT of Russian steel cased, lacquer coated ammo at the range. Honestly, I think you could shoot broken glass and scrap metal through this thing and it would function just fine.

      I understand that a Glock may not be the right gun for the military because it doesn’t have an external safety and military demands one because the troops will have too many NDs, but whether you love Glocks or hate them, there is no more reliable pistol on the planet.

  44. Personally I carry 2 S&W 3rd gen SS pistols after finding the 9mm lacking. One is .45ACP but I don’t use that FMJ stuff to “sorta kill” someone, the other is 10mm which is the best–again the ammo is made to stop, kill, get it over with. Shoulder harness rig w/barrel down and each has 2 mags in addition to the one in the pistol. No crappy plastic, not ugly and made in USA with safety/decocker on slide. Thor

  45. I’ve shot ’em all…and would prefer to risk my life on a well-aimed .45 round than any of the others. Of course, a well-placed .22 round is better than 15 misses with a 9mm.

    1. You’re right, Major! All this back and forth bullsh%^ about calibers, feet per second; blah, blah, blah. Do any of these people really think a .45 ACP round is not good because it ‘only’ travels at 850 feet per second at its now slowest pace (some now are at 100 fps)? That’s almost three football fields! Not to mention the knock down power. And that’s SLOW?
      We had no problem with carrying it in how many brutal and long wars. People of all walk and sizes. No problem supplying ammo and parts. No problem killing everybody with it, GOD KNOWS! And these conversations still go on and bore me to death. Really, if they’re so worried about the minority weakest part in the chain, like everybody does about every freaking issue in the world now; if that’s what is realm important now, give them all .22’s! We can keep our .45’s and the rest can go to Hell!
      Jeff Szabo
      US Army, Military Police 1968-1970

  46. I remember the controversy that surrounded the adoption of the M9 and the early teething problems experience with slides blowing off or cracking. That problem has long since been remedied, but the debate over the pistols role, its ergonomics, and its caliber still rage. I clearly believe the M9 was big step up from the S&W Model 15 38 Special we had been issued, but a definite step down from the new crop of 1911 variants available at the time of testing. I had hoped one of the 1911 offsprings or the new Glock 17 would be considered, but neither met the requirements created by the review board. That too was a shortsighted failing on the part of DoD. Today there are many more handguns and loads to chose from, but the issue of reliability, handling, and “stopping power” remain paramount concerns. I don’t know what features the product improved M9 would offer, but I doubt they could do much about the fat slick grip, heavy DA trigger pull, or clumsy safety/decocker without mimicking the old Taurus PT92 or PT99. Indeed, the PT99 is the pistol the Beretta 92 should have been (and almost was once). As for caliber, the 9mm it is adequate IF the right bullet and load are incorporated. And now that the DoD has recently decided to authorize the use of hollow-point ammo, it may become a nonissue in time. As for me, I favor a modified Glock 20SF 10mm using Buffalo Bores 200 or 220 grain hard cast or FMJ flat faced solid. But I live in Grizzly country.

    1. Colonel K. I have one of the old Taurus I picked up in the late 80ties while stationed in FLA. I went with it over the Beretta, for the frame mounted safety, over that slide mounted one. Much more natural to sweep it to off. Plus being an old 1911 fan it fit in with that K.I.S.S. philosophy.

  47. its is a poor combat gun anyway. what we dont need is a trigger happy GLOCK bunch of junk in the hands of more people who dont get it.

    1. @ jgcat

      If you are referring to Glock as junk, You are the one who doesn’t get it.
      As for the trigger happy comment, our military people are trained…not trigger happy. Perhaps you should think through your comments before you post them instead of just flinging insulting rhetoric.

    2. You must be the older wheel gun type that needs a trigger that is at least 22 lbs. Glock is one of the better firearms on the market. It is not a pretty gun that you hang up or show off to all of your snobby ass artificial friends in your $4K a year gun club like your Kimber Raptor or the Night Hawk Custom job. Its just a gun that is simple and works w/o all of the other crap that you don’t really need. I personally would never own a “pretty gun”. That’s a good way to get dead. Why would anyone want a gun that is all nice a shiny to just give away their position anyway?

      Yes Our military is trained on how to use a firearm. Much more than most police officers or many LEOs. (no offense to LEOs).

  48. I personally would like to see the M9 replaced with a Glock 21. The Beretta is a fine weapon but is a little weak for it’s intended use. Handguns are not meant to be battle weapons, they are intended for close quarter last resort defense…much the same as millions of civilians buy them for. The 45ACP Glock is a much better stopper than any 9MM, and Glocks just keep on working…and working…and working…and, well, you know.

    1. @Dan

      I am a major Glock 21 fan, but a striker fired pistol with no mechanical safety and a non-NATO standard ammunition just isn’t going to be accepted by the pentagon.

    2. @Mikial

      The pentagon has already accepted 45ACP and if it is still policy in the military to carry with an empty chamber, the Glock safety system should not be an issue. Proper training is the key.

    3. If you don’t think a 9mm could stop someone just as effectively, you have yet to shoot one. A 9mm allows for more consistent shooting, larger capacity, and has plenty of stopping power.

    4. @Barantos

      I don’t know where you got your stats on 9mm vs 45acp, but your statement is just flat wrong. History and extensive testing have proven the 45acp to be far superior to the 9mm for stopping/knockdown power…especially when full metal jacket bullets are concerned.

  49. The 1911 is a tried and true platform. I still use it to this day. The .40 is ok but, .45 is it. Nothing will ever beat it…..

  50. I don’t get all this Beretta bashing. The company has been in business more than 500 years and makes some of the finest firearms in the world. Beretta shotguns are first class. As for the M9, I’m ex-military, still own one and will take it over a Glock or any other plastic gun. My M9 has never FTF or FTE with more than 2,000 rounds down the pipe. I take very good care of her by cleaning regularly and using brass-only quality ammo. I’ve shot some aluminum-cased rounds with any problem but prefer brass.

    What is it with the “hands” remarks? I have average-sized meat hooks and the M9 fits perfectly. The sights are good, the gun shoots straight and with 15-round mags that’s more than enough firepower for anyone with a decent aim. Yeah, it’s not the ideal carry gun but you can’t be all things to all people.

    For 30+ years the M9 has served the U.S. Military well and I see no reason for an update other than because people are always looking for “new and improved.” I’ll stick with the tried and true, and that’s Beretta.

    1. @joe ,
      Had you been deployed as some of us were to the desert and brutal baltic weather conditions and sand ,etc. And i do not care how well you clean and maintain it in the deser for sure it still gets into everything you will find sand in places you did not know existed it is so bad the M9 was a complete failure ,no stopping power ,what good is 15 rounds if it takes half a mag to stop a threat and move on and half the time would begin to malfunction due to the conditions and sand in action or mud where ol slab sides would have kept running all day long and gotten the job done with 1 round most always that guy was out of the fight they walked right through the 9mm nato round like not even shot at times, take it from us have used it in a firefinght most all will agree not enough gun ,not dependable enough in awful conditions .case closed we need a new big bored handgun for our troops and rifle round for theit long weapons platforms . And our troops will not get new hp ammo or +p loaded 9mm nato ammo they will get same meek round they have used since adopting the puny round for combat. That is just fact .

  51. OK, the 9mm is not the “man stopper” that is the .45 Auto cartridge.

    John browning developed the .45 Auto round and the 1911 pistol at the US army’s solicitation for a cartridge that could stop a Filipino Moro (Muslim) fighter from beheading officers. The officers Army .38 revolvers could not stop the Moro fighters. The Moros bound their torsos with tightly wrapped layers of cloth ribbons to keep up their blood pressure when seriously wounded. A “knock-down” cartridge was needed and the .45 Auto filled the bill very well.

    The old hot rod saying, “There’s no replacement for displacement.” could well be applied to the .45 Auto cartridge v.s the 9 mm, even FMJ +P ammo (FMJ ONLY for the military, by international agreement).
    So do we need to go to .40 S&W? With higher velocities than the .45 Auto and a longer, flatter trajectory as well as virtually the same knockdown power, is it the answer?

    All I know is that the 1911 pistol is no longer the answer due to reliability reasons when compared to more modern designs. A good SIG, Glock, S&W, etc. can be more reliable, especially the Glock.

    1. The .40 cal s&w will never be nor is practical for military use by nato forces which pretty much = us and the article 5 members .However we could easily supply the tooling and specs to nato countries or produce the ammo and supply them with ample 45 acp 230 grain fmj .And in answer to the 1911 was made for the fillipino warriors that were not going down to 38’s is not fully true the model 1917 revolver was more prevelant, a revolver was much easier and cheaper to produce at the time there was a surplus left from ww1 with half moon clips for the .45 acp cartridge in that conflict than there were 45 autoloaders by far the 1911 had not been fully adapted or fully tested and approved by the ordinance dept yet so they went with the revolver on that 1 sir .NATO could easily adapt the 45 acp but i do think it will need a large cap double stacked mag design to make the cut for the army ordinance folks. And justify the change over for all of nato if need be .I personally think it is overdue we need big bores to drop some of these doped up insurgents and rebel type armies we will be fighting for many yrs to come by the looks of it .as well as a long range capable rifle catridge superior to the 5.56 for the long ranges it will be needed at in this type of theatre of ops in many instances as 1 who has been there has seen and saw the results of said 5.56 and 9mm platforms we are currently using, the 6.8 spc was to do just that .

    2. Problem is, “no replacement for displacement” has been largely disproved in racing. I point you to the 700 HP Ford GT with a V6 engine…

      Ammo is everything. The current mil spec rounds are terrible. With the right ammo, you can get all the stopping power you want in a 9mm.

    3. @justin .
      But we know that will never happen due to geneva conventions and world courts view on acceptable weaponry in warfare .And in the 90’swhen i was first deployed the 9mm did not have that many personal defense type rounds available as today . The ballistics and specs on military ammo will not change under nato so to stay with that round and platform that has failed us in the field miserably many times as far as stopping power and overall maintenece is just ludicrus when all us returning nco’s and troopers debriefed on the lack of firepower against the weaponry we faced with the use of these platforms actually were for doing fur us . I still say an updated 1911 with a double stack maG,combat night sights,lower rail and suppresser adaptable for sf operaters in 45acp would be much simpler and robust under those conditions .The M9 is a police officers weapon to a soldier who has used it , not a soldiers real friend at all when most needed. That is just the facts.

    4. “No replacement for displacement ” is absolutely proved in racing. I point you to top fuel dragsters 8,500 – 10,000 HP in a 500 CI V8! Technology has done a lot to make small engines impressive BUT same tech applied to big engines always equal more power.
      Your analogy is appropriate in that similar technology applied, bigger bullets WILL cause a larger wound channel.
      That being said your final sentence about getting all you want is true, but “how much is enough?” is exactly what is being debated here.

    5. GI guns are reliable. Nothing more reliable than a Springfield TRP or Kimber Pro Tactical.
      Units on the ‘point’ use the 1911 .45 in any case.
      The proper replacement for the M 9 would be the Colt Government Model Series 70 in its newest version. That would solve a lot of problems.

    6. REALLY??!!
      The Springfield and the Kimber are both really tight guns. I mean tight because the tolerances are made too tight and the need for constant lube is always required. If you blow thru 200 rounds on a new Kimber they will fail. The Colt 1911 that was used during WWII was loose and that’s what made it such a great gun. I own one that was used at that time in that war. If it got a little bit dirty it would still function, a Kimber would not either will the model 70. If you are going back to the 1911 you would use the same time tested gun that has been battle proven.

      I thing that the idea of getting a new firearm also has to do with the weight of the firearm. When I carried the M9 it was not that big of a deal but, times were a lot different then too. Now if you don’t feel like running you don’t have to or if you don’t feel like doing PT fine then don’t.

      The Strikers are a lot more reliable than hammer fired pistols are any day. The new Sig 320 would meet that criteria but it is only in .357, 40 and 45. I think that the military still wants the Hi-CAP of the 9mm and are not concerned with the actual takedown power of the round itself. Its just that they can carry more ammo which is also why they went with the .223/5.56 vs the 7.62×39 like the rest of the world.

  52. As far as I know, they already have committed to replacing this POS, even though Beretta tried churching it up.

  53. While we in the U.S. typically subscribe to the “bigger is better, and more power slams them to the ground” philosophy, we also have to remember that as a “progressive society” we have more females joining the military, and currently are considering two women Rangers for ground combat. Females normally don’t have the arm or grip strength for high-recoil handguns – our female Rangers perhaps the exceptions. Just as it has been the mantra of the responsible hunting crowd (males and females), we should accept that one or two well-places shots are far more lethal than a magnum cannon that misses because the shooter can’t handle the recoil.

    1. Obviously youre living in fantasy land. No need to get into the details of the the political correctness of pushing two women that did not meet the actual standard s of being Ranger Qualified. Lowering standards has been our way of looking good for the public when in actuality it endangers everyone. We see this everyday with our police forces. Standards must be raised and those unable to conform to the criteria are out.

    2. Al, call me old fashioned, if you will, most American born females do not belong in combat. Before you point out female Israeli soldiers, consider; from birth, girls in Israel, are taught they they will serve in the military. They train with weapons from the time are a big enough to hold them. They take the same physically challenging sports as do the boys. American females are brought up to be wives and home makes and such, where rough and tumble activities are consider unfeminine. Okay, there are exceptions, but consider this, from the time females were allowed to enlist as anything other than WAVES, WACS & WAFS, training was dumbed down so that they could pass. They say that this is not so in Ranger training. Is it so? In the U.S ‘s political correct, you’re as good as any man at doing anything, society, is this true?

  54. To get a .45 going as fast a most 9mm loads would produce a lot of kick. That results in a weapon that either takes big hands to operate, or lots of weight to balance, and many military shooters have both small hands and can’t justify dragging the weight of a 1911 or similar-weight handgun around.

    The Army doesn’t buy perfect weapons, they buy 95% solutions for 95% of the force.

  55. The military went to the 9mm as that was the standard pistol and machine pistol round used in NATO. At the time this made some sense from the logistics point of view as we were preparing for an all out slug fest with the then Soviet Union.

    The FMJ military 9mm round is not a great performer from the point of stopping an enemy soldier. A soldier pumped up on adrenaline could possibly absorb 3 or 4 body hits and still be functional with the exception of a hit to the brain or a round slicing the spinal cord.

    A return to a hot .45 ACP load would certainly enhance the effectiveness of such a sidearm and make some sense as if in combat, if you are down to your sidearm for defense you are in very dire straights.

    Lastly of course, virtually all other nations will continue to use the 9mm so our soldiers would not be able to use foreign ammo in their pistols, which may or may not be a big deal for the tactical reason cited above.

    1. You can’t fix stupid, Denny. Glock didn’t get in on the bid when ” military intelligence” picked the Beretta. Considering that much of the world’s military are now carrying Glocks,, hopefully ” stupid” will at least be absent for the vote.

  56. This discussion has been had too many times. The fanboys of the rare, antique, non NATO or exotic ammo caliber (for lack of better terminology) always jump in with nonsense. It’s between .45 acp or 9mm only. Now that we have that part of the argument settled let’s move on. Those chiming in waving the 1911 flag and touting their former unit served more than likely are desk jockey or old heads(respectively) who never pulled that 1911 in the sandbox or the “hot at mess”. I’m sentimental and love the 1911 but it has no place in today’s modern battlefield as a issued sidearm! Great if Larry wants to break out his files and makes you one of those”special” bad boys but that’s a completely different animal. Maintenance/ function under less that comfortable conditions have to be considered as well as the average “Joe” trying to pull apart without losing pieces. The 1911 is good for officers and parades not for the grunt or end user unless he’s wearing a suit…wink,wink,nudge,nudge say no more. Not the ops when you work for your hazard pay. So sit down gentleman and be gentleman let Those who use these for a living have the discussion. And no I’m not talking about those in blue/black donning plate carriers and donuts racking up the hours in those “Interceptors”…LOL

    1. Please excuse my typos while get upset at the realityoff my prior comment. Driving and texting doesn’t often mix…LOL

  57. I’d like to see the results of new government trials. The 1911 was a result of trials and bested the competitors before WW1. While I love the 1911 platform, I think we need a 21st century design to match the technology and needs of the future; not keep legacy pistols, technology and compromises at the expense of having the best pistols. Put the 1911 against the best twenty pistols of today and see which comes out on top for ease of use, reliability, ergonomics and accuracy.

  58. Having shot a variety of 9mm pistols, including the military’s M9 (Beretta 92FS) and M11 (SIG P228), my own P226, and a CZ 75, the M9 is my least favorite.

    The M9 has weird features like an open slide and a slide-mounted safety, and I personally find the ergonomics just a bit off, mainly because grip is too wide.

    I know the original competition between the 92FS and P226 was decided on price, and I have to agree with the Navy SEALs–the SIG was and still is a better gun. It wouldn’t shock me if price was a major consideration this time around, but I hope the Army mitigates that by choosing an existing design, not by giving up on the replacement entirely.

  59. As others have said, ammo is the problem in terms of caliber – namely, milspec 9mm rounds are pretty sub-optimal in stopping power these days. Load that 9 up with some Speer Gold Dot Bonded +P rounds and targets wouldn’t be shrugging them off, that’s for damned sure…

    As far as the weapon itself, well – I can understand that, not a fan myself. I think they should revisit Glocks. Plenty of military forces around the world – non spec-ops – carry them and they don’t seem to overly shoot themselves for the lack of a conventional safety. I believe this would be the best choice and direction.

    1. A lot of US spec ops guys use glock too now. The only place an overweight unreliable M9 belongs is in an overweight MP’s holster.

  60. The selection criteria used by military program managers and planners is much more complex than that used by Joe Average. In addition to per unit cost, reliability, ballistic performance and accuracy considerations, military side arms are subject to many others including:
    Anticipated life cycle.
    Total cost of weapon, training, parts, ammo & logistics support items over the life cycle of the weapon.
    Weight of weapon.
    Weight of ammo.
    Parts package required.
    Manufacturer support over life cycle.
    Current and future ammo manufacturers capacity, cost and availability.
    Compatibility with NATO for both weapon and ammo.
    Maintenance requirements and training needed for armorers at both field and intermediate maintenance facilities for any new platform beyond the current one.
    For example; a couple considerations that don’t affect civilians and even most police departments:
    Will frames and slides need round counts?
    Will they require magna-fluxing or other detection methods for cracks at certain life cycles?
    How often will critical consumables like springs, pins, bushings, etc need to be replaced?
    How big a parts package will be needed?

    The total life cycle cost of almost any weapon platform whether a pistol or an aircraft usually far exceeds to per unit price of the individual item at time of acquisition.

  61. We all probably use pretty much the same criteria in choosing a hand gun: affordability, caliber, how it feels in the hand, reliability, ease of use etc. The military is using the same criteria for the next million or so users. One thing that would tilt the table in favor of an upgrade of the M9 would be the use of JHP ammo. 9mm FMJ doesn’t seem to meet the military’s criteria.

  62. All this debate over caliber. The .45 in (Long) Colt or in ACP (automatic Colt pistol, is a proven man-stopper. The .9 mm has never been a slouch, but I carry a .1911-A1 in .45 ACP. Okay, the military wants something different. For many years, many countries have used the 7.62 x 25. I have used this round in hand guns and sub-machine guns. It is an effective man-stopper. And, Ed, the 9 mm. 38 Special , .357, and 9 Largo, and .38 Smith & Wesson (short). All of which can be, allegedly, fired in a .357 handgun. The now, all but obsolete, .38 Colt, in long and short configuration, was a true .38 caliber.

    1. I own a T33 tokarev pistol in the 7.62×25 cal is a power packed little round buttttttttttttt’ i still say do not go to an obsolete round made and developed by another former and still kind of an enemiy behind closed doors our relationship with Putin is teetering now ,go back to the proven over 100 yrs and counting 45 acp 1 shot manstopper worked for so many yrs in combat develop a double stacked hi cap mag for that 1911 you got the answer we need . As the ma duece .50 is still serving every branch now as it did with few changes for the last 80 yrs in combat all over the globe if it is not broken do not fix it john browning was the greatest firearms inventer of all time and his designs still work on the modern battefield to this day . stick with what worked then and still does for many US serving marines .Give us all 45 acps with hi cap mags you have solved the prob as far as sidearms for our troops go in my opinion it just cannot be matched for that use by any other design today .

    2. Damian, the 7.63 x 25 is hardly obsolete and is manufactured by others than Russia. Still, the .45 ACP is and will remain my go-to cartridge. Despite comments about desk jockies and ‘old heads’ that never carried a pistol into combat, that I read somewhere in this blog, I have carried pistols of all calibers, rifles, & sub-guns too, into combat. If I was going into combat and could only choose 1 pistol, 1 sub-machine gun and 1 rifle, I would take the 1911 A1 in .45 ACP, the M-3 in .45 ACP and the M-14 in 7.62 NATO and not feel over burdened by weight or under armed. But, what do I know. I am an’old head’, that has only fought in combat in most parts of the world for the last 30 + years.

  63. As a former army cav trooper i say REPLACE IT with a 45 an updated model 1911 double stacked mag would be great i saw how the 9mm nato fmj round did very little against drugged up on kot or w/e they get a hold of in iraq haji’s keep coming until a direct head shot was made then they complained we were taking too many head shots well give us a handgun and rifle does the job with 1 round not 15 without a head shot and most times with the m4 carbine or the m9 pistol you wanted the threat dropped you went for a head shot both rounds need replaced with bigger for CQB or mid range combat the 6.8 is a great rifle round and the 45 acp has been a known 1 shot manstopper for over 100 yrs and counting update ol slab sides with higher cap mags put her back where she belongs in our troops holsters in CQB and give us a rifle round will shoot 500 meters and still have plenty of man stopping energy @.engagements of over 500 meters the 5.56 is almost useless at that range without a headshot hard to make for the best marksmen at 500 meters with the 5.56 round both need scrapped JMHO as a trooper has used them in CQB. We did not pull out all the old m14 rifles for deployment to gulf and afghan for no reason we needed and still do need a bigger better manstopping round @ ranges over 400 meters, in both long and sidearms in military soon as possible give us more stopping power and reasonable range manstopper rounds for miltary use in todays battle conditions especially our sidearms the corp uses a 45 acp the seals the 10mm auto but the us army is still behind modern bfc’s with the 9mm nato round.

  64. In every one of these conversations. 40 and .45 come up. While I’ve taught plenty of women to fire a 1911 and other .45’s ..and they do well, they don’t do as well as with a 9mm. 40cal is right out.. too snappy and it’s just a compromise caliber. Love it or hate .40 as you wish, it will never see military use..

    9mm is a NATO standard just like 5.56 and 7.62 ..are there calibers that have better performance, absolutely but Lil ms. 9mm has come a long way and while I haven’t been on a 2 way range in a long time..9mm is a great round…45 it ain’t but, the military has to provide for a million plus folks not just us enthusiasts 🙂 9mm is the side arm caliber, end of conversation. The question is, what is the best platform for a 9mm side arm that we can put in the hands of our military? And the M9 ain’t it.

    1. Well in that case it would need to be the Glock 17. Minimal lube req’d, east take down, very reliable, simple, cheap. That’s what the Military wants and needs. The M&P is not that great in a straight up comparison. Any firearm with a hammer is going to jam up in an environment where its dusty or muddy or even wet. The down side is the lead ammo. the military will need to only provide FMJ to shoot. Also the Glock 37 45 gap would be a viable option as well. The ammo can be carried in larger quantity than the 45 ACP and has the same knock down power is the same as a 45 acp.
      Down side is mag cap.

    2. As Chris said, outside of SecOps types, the 9mm is probably going to remain the round of choice for the military.

      Regarding Glocks. I like them, own some and even carried one for a while doing private security work in Iraq, but the military isn’t likely to ever go to a sidearm that doesn’t have an external mechanical safety. Most of the young troops are not well enough trained in handguns, and if you factor that into the stress and exhaustion that mark combat or even training ops, I think the Pentagon types are going to be too concerned about NDs to use a Glock. Having said that, the Glock 17 is now an authorized weapon choice for SOCOM types.

    3. Not sure why you say the M&P doesn’t hold up, but in my non-combat experience (I wasn’t cool enough to carry the m9 AND my beloved 203), but I have trained extensively with both the glock and m&p pistols in 9, 4.0 and .45. Honestly with the G4 grip panels, grips on both feel very similar to me and ive heard the same from students. The ergonomics of most modern pistols, even the M9 are functional at the least.

      The only thing I can see where the M&P out of the box lags behind pretty much every other modern pistol is that bs trigger. God bless APEX.

      It would be more expensive to produce glocks with an external safety ( theres pictures of a g17 with an external lever out ther, I forget which Europeans were issuing them to police) , but pretty much all of the other brands have an itteration with an external safety.

      To me this is still about dumping the M9, sure the A3 version appears to be a worthy evolution, but the assclowns are late to the show with it and the CEO ass clown needs to sinch up his panties and accept that HE and Beretta failed to take care of the custmer well before it was too late.

      And guys, I don’t disagree, lets get .45 back into all hands, but…ergonomics are a huge issue for the current generation. 45 poly guns, just too damn fat around the grip in a double stack. And lets be damn honest, the 1911 while romanticized takes a crap ton of care and feeding when compared to more mordern side arms.

      Logistics win wars, have ammo compatibility with allies is a smart decision period. 9mm in some cases isn’t sufficient to stop with a single shot, but that isn’t because all 9mm is weak sauce, its the round chosen, a +P 124grn round will cause the recipient to have a very bad day, but with between 15 and 21 rounds in each mag, meh..that should be more than enough to fight back to your long gun, or give you enough time to get it back in action.

      These are SIDE arms, not primary weapons for 99% of military users. But having the best COTS solution is where the military has to go. Thats abfairly narrow field all said and told. Too bad we don’t have the final say, I suspect the majority of us would seek better and more consistent training over just another gun.

      By the way..still looking to get an ammo sponsor for the torture test lol

    4. Umm, last I heard the Coast Guard were considered military. They most certainly use the .40 S&W. You are right its not ever going to be a combat pistol, but still.

      The military will stick with 9mm as you said, it really doesn’t matter that much whether its a newer Beretta, a Sig, or an HK that they replace aging pistols with. 95% of those pistols will never be fired at anyplace other than the range. Of the other 5%, the Spec Ops will get whatever they want and leave the 9mm in the armory and the rest should have a rifle as a primary weapon. (or a crew served weapon)

      So really I would suggest a strong framed pistol that can shoot a much hotter version of the 9mm and it doesn’t matter much who makes it. I say this as someone that owns a Beretta 96 in .40.

    5. @ Daniel,

      The U.S. Coast Guard has the .40 because they fall under the Department of Homeland Security. They only fall under DoD (Navy) when called upon during times of war to do so, and even then it is never all of the Coast Guard, but specific specialized units with certain watercraft.

  65. I like the idea of a modular pistol and have gotten excellent service from my FNH FNP 9. However, if the Army were to adopt an off-the-shelf pistol for general issue, the Sig P-229 in .40 caliber would be a good choice; especially with the short-pull trigger. The SEALS have used the P226 for years under the most adverse conditions and it keeps running. If I had to go into harm’s way, I would pick the 229.

  66. I have extensive experience with the M9 from military duty and while I have never failed to fire expert marksman at every qualification, I hate it.

    Yes, I have small hands and this thing is a monster to hold for just being a 9mm. With 33 years in the military side of my career (I am civ law enforcement full-time job); I’ve watched as more and more women grow the military ranks. Most women I work with have smaller hands like me and with their increasing numbers over the past 30 years warrants looking at another gun.

    However, I don’t know so much that the military should spend money developing a new Modular Handgun System, but rather I feel they should save money and adopt some of the platforms already tested for law enforcement and military duty already in use for their SpecOps forces.

  67. i believe that the miltary should revert to a more powerful handgun, and in particular, to the 45 ACP. You can get fairly powerful loads with this ammo (629-660 ft lbs of muzzle energy), which is about 50% more powerful than any 9mm. I think many that were in combat would agree that they need some more powerful, and would like to return to the 45.

    Vincent (08-28-15)

  68. the 9MM is not a 38 caliber. Wow ken you did not know that……..It is
    .35. Remember you can shot 38 special rds in a .357 magnum.
    35 Calibre. Lesson over……………….

    1. Bill if your going to be picky, be accurate. 9mm is a .355 diameter round. You go on to say: “Remember you can shot 38 special rds in a .357 magnum”. Do you notice any thing there? A 38 special is .357 diameter round. So either A) yeah your right 35 is not 38. or B) since the 38 isn’t actually 38 but .357 they are both 35’s.

      Personally I would take Kens way of calling them 38 caliber as being ok since the difference is .002 between them, but then again I’m not a jerk. Lesson over.

  69. I got the impression that this Trial was more about the caliber performance more than the actual platform in question.
    It seems to me that the militaries priority is looking for a better performance from a pistol cartridge that is an improvement over the Standard 9MM.
    If that’s the case then the discussion is really about munitions 9MM, 9MM+P, .40, .45 and possibly but not likely .357 Sig, First and Second, the platforms that support them.
    Beretta’s M9 is a satisfactory sidearm for the most part, it’s not my choice for a side arm, I’d likely lean towards a platform that supports .40SW unless of course I was allowed to use something other than 9mm FMJ, like perhaps a SP, or HP, along the lines of a Hydroshok or GoldDot. In which case the Standard 9MM whould be very effective for general military deployment. This however as we all know is not a consideration. That leaves a somewhat limited set of options within the FMJ configurations for calibers .40SW. And .45 ACP. the Semi Wad Cutter seems to fit the bill. The .40 would also seem to be the logical choice. Power, capacity, avaibibility, and available supporting platforms that exist seem to point towards this possibility.
    But, we’re arm chair quarterbacking what is likely to be a convoluted, twisted, out of balance, set of Trial (if past history is an indacator) which may well make all our comments of no consequence what do ever!
    But, it’s fun to read everyone’s thoughts isn’t it? LOL.

    1. According to the Geneva Convention the military is not allowed to use HP, PSP. SPs etc in warfare. FMJ are the standard and are the only one excepted on a battle field. Its stupid but it is what it is.

    2. The army has already stated that it will use HP ammo with the new handgun. Also the US never signed the ban on HP ammo at the Geneva convention, we have only voluntarily abided by the agreement.

    3. It’s actually the Hague Convention, IIRC a section the US never signed on to. I don’t know if JHPs would be kosher as NATO-standard, but I do know that hollowpoints have been used in limited circumstances for some time, so there is definitely legal wiggle room.

    4. The Geneva Convention agreements do not address soft point versus FMJ. That was addressed by the 1899 Hague Declaration on Expanding Bullets, and the United States was not and is not a signatory to the resolution,

    5. I don’t own a Beretta 92 and have no intention of purchasing one in the future. That said, I would agree that unless the military intends to switch to a different caliber there’s little reason to go to a brand new pistol versus simply updating the M9. Keep in mind that unlike for police or civilians, the pistol is generally not a primary weapon for the men and women in our military – they have rifles for that, and even a mid-level rifle cartridge like 5.56 NATO will dwarf anything coming out of a handgun in terms of stopping power.

      On the other hand, given such current procurement nightmares as the F22 and F35 aircraft you’re not going to make a compelling cost-savings pitch to the Pentagon when “only” a half-billion dollars are at stake.

      @Vector16: It’s the Hague Convention that prohibits the use of hollow-point bullets in war, but the United States is actually not a signatory. We simply have chosen to follow it voluntarily.

    6. And I must point out that the enemies we are fighting these days are savages, terrorists and the like. Not established military armies or countries. Therefore, as far as munitions are concerned, stab them in the eye with an olive fork as far as I am concerned.

  70. I thought mine was a really good sidearm. I did like it but, I think the military need to replace the 9mm with the 40 cal. The 9mm its a great round but they can only use FLJ ammo. At least the 40 has the semi wad cutter and has more stopping power. I would like to see an American firearm, sidearm, in use by our military. I also think that the striker would serve better.

    1. I think a striker fired weapon would be a mistake. Too many times I have seen officers fail to clear a weapon like the Beretta 9mm properly resulting in a negligent discharge (no such thing as accidental discharge in the military anymore). Most weapons of a striker fired nature, like a Glock for instance, do not have a manual safety. Therefore, I think it would be foolish for them to adopt something like that. The reason I say officers in the beginning of this post is it seems it is officers who have most of the sidearms. I remember back when I first came in, the unit was allocated X amount of sidearms. These we actually for the combat medics assigned to the unit so that he didn’t have to be encumbered with a long rifle while trying to do his job of making his way, under fire usually, to the casualty. His weapon wasn’t for his self defense but to protect his patient. Desk jockey officers took the sidearm as a status symbol of their being an officer. In the end, the take away from this is that the Army doesn’t train enough for sidearm proficiency and a striker fired weapon won’t help either. I think the SIG 226 would be a better bet.

    2. Let me reiterate and say this…. After much thought and loss of sleep
      ( just kidding, I don’t really give a sh#$) I thought about a few other things that I wanted to include in an earlier post. The U.S. will never adopt the .45 again. The NATO standard is the 9mm and the U.S. is all about being buddies and going with the flow so there is that. I personally feel that the UN and NATO are now ineffective, a waste of money and need to be done away with, but that’s a different blog.Now, I also heard ( not taking credit for it) that it also was because women can’t handle the .45 as well as the 9mm. Kind of in the same way that the military trucks went to auto transmissions instead of a standard transmission. Don’t know if that’s true or not so my apologies to the ladies out there.
      So if we have to stay with the 9mm, have a safety, hi cap, and modularity requirements and whatever else, I think the Sig 226 would be the best option.

  71. 9mm is a fine round with good ballistics as tested by the FBI. In competitive shooting it is about all you will see in the upper ranks because you can put multiple shots on target in a minimal time and you can carry extra ammo plus the weapon, mags and 30 rounds weighs a lot less than the same for a .45 weapon, mags and 30 rounds.

    I enjoy shooting my .45 SIG P220, but for a sidearm I carry I much prefer the 9mm CZ-75. Note that no sidearm should ever be counted on where a 5.56 (or larger) rifle is needed.

    I wonder how often military forces need to fire a sidearm in anger, not in unplanned self-defense? I would guess most planned missions use rifles almost exclusively.

  72. I will put my M9 up against any comparable pistol out there, especially the plastic ones. I know that my M9 will outlive those by, oh a hundred years or more. I like value, not fads.

    1. @Tom

      I agree. My Glock 21 is the most reliable handgun I have ever owned, and I have probably owned over 40+ different ones and shot another 30+ that belonged to someone else or were issued to me. I have shot everything from premium match ammo to Russian steel cased, lacquer coated ammo through it (and a lot of the latter) and it simply does not fail. I have shot the same Glock 21 in USPSA matches and hours upon hours on the range between Iraq deployments without any issues.

      We currently own two Berettas, and my wife loves hers. It is her primary gun in all situations, and they are good guns. I would not want to be on the receiving end when she is shooting hers. But they will never be able to withstand the abuse a Glock can.

    2. Now there’s a great idea… run a FS92, Gen4 G17, M&P9, FN9 and a say a SIG 9mm, and run the little bastards until they break.

      I’d happily bring my M&P’s if someone buys the ammo

  73. Hey .45 lovers! A poorly placed .45 Hardball Bullet is not much more effective than a poorly placed 9mm. It WILL NOT knock down an enemy just by superficially wounding him!

    1. That is indeed a correct statement. FMJ or as you call them hardball rounds in any caliber are not ideal for stopping an adversary. That being said, the .45 in a hot load WILL deliver more destructive energy to a target than a FMJ 9mm, just basic physics.

    2. What more can I other than this “hardball” clown is an IDIOT. I’d like to ask those touting any round or m9 to fill in the details of where and when you shot a human being , the conditions, platforms and ammunition type and caliber not to mention the results. Let’s here it tough guys. Those paper zombies are killer huh?

    3. What more can I other than this “hardball” clown is an IDIOT. I’d like to ask those touting any round or m9 to fill in the details of where and when you shot a human being , the conditions, platforms and ammunition type and caliber not to mention the results. Let’s here it tough guys. Those paper zombies are killer huh?

      Damn typos and predictive text!

  74. I think they should replace the m9 and go with a double stack .45 acp pick from glock or sig anyone for a better kill one shot stop round. Sure it’s nice to have 3 more rounds but if they can’t put a hurtin on the terrorists what good are they.

  75. .45 is a minimum. The army needs a sidearm that can penetrate and stop those approaching. SIG or Glock is my choice.
    While you are at it – Return to 7.62 NATO in a rifle of quality like HK417. 90% of recruits in Finland can hit a target at 300 meters.

  76. The Beretta is unfit for combat in a sandy environment. Its trigger is too long for people with small hands. The design is very old dating back to the 50s. Once the rails wear out, the gun is done. Contrast this with the FNH FNP .45 Tactical. It can be fired single action with a short trigger press. The rails can be replaced many times so the pistol has a long service life. It has a threaded barrel so it will accept a suppressor. And it is much more accurate than the Beretta. Recoil is light enough for even novice shooters and it is a high capacity pistol.

    1. @Sivispace

      Not necessarily arguing with your points, they are well made. And I am a .45 ACP shooter. I love my Glock 21 and my XD and they are my primary EDC guns,.

      But I just wanted to say that my wife, who has very small hands, is extremely good with her Beretta. She is accurate, handles it well, and loves it. We own several, a couple of which are LE trade ins, so they have some wear, and they are smooth and reliable. When we go to the range, we generally take at least 6 different handguns of all makes and calibers, and she shoots them all, but she prefers her Beretta. They are not a bad gun, but they are way behind the times for modern handguns.

      So, while I agree they would never be my first choice for a combat handgun, they aren’t as bad as some reports make them out to be. Many of the problems in Iraq (where I spent a total of 2 1/2 years) were due to crappy mags. With decent mags, they run well with any ammo.

  77. Why were we trying to use an underpowered round? Two reasons I can think of. 1-NATO we still have to conform to their standards for compatibility.
    2- Spray and pray. You don’t need mega capacity magazines, you need proper shot placement.

    I first shot the Model 1911 in the service, and I was hooked. John Moses Browning’s design served or combat forces well from 1911 to 1985. The Army has had their flirtation with Beretta, now lets arm the troops with something other than a .38 caliber with a fancy European name.

  78. Not sure why you guys are kissing Beretta’s ass so much. While the M9 is sufficient there have been MAJOR evolutions in the pistol world. When the M9 was selected the options were slim..but SIG,GLOCK and Smith&Wesson have all brought impressive polymer based pistols to market. Pistols in wide use in LE and other NATO militaties.

    Even the half ass improvements to the M9 Beretta has done don’t bring the weapon to the same level as the G4 GLOCK or M&P lines. Just think it’s time to let the worn out M9 retire and get out of inventory.

    Honestly, Beretta just seems to need to change their tampons and accept that they failed to bring innovation to the platform until it was too late. Suckling the government tit doesn’t last forever. There is a bunch of good reasons the M9 is not prolific in LE or other first or second world’s clunky, HEAVY and past it’s prime.. it ain’t no 1911, G17 or M&P9

    Sucks to be Beretta but I have no sympathy

    1. I agree with Chris. The first time that I handled a 92, My first thought was why would anyone want a gun this big and heavy just to shoot 9mm… I don’t believe that Glock was involved in the trials in 1985. I wonder if they will be this time. I know that there are some personal Glocks being used in Iraq.

    2. @ Tom,

      Many are unaware there was a controversy 30 years ago back when Beretta was awarded their contracts. There was even a Congressional investigation into information that wheeling and dealing occurred in exchange for allowing our military presence to remain in Italy.

      Such controversy begs the question – that while Beretta does make a fine firearm, was it really the best platform for our military or were hundreds of thousands of us forced to carry Berettas over some backroom political deal?

      Regardless of where the truth lies, I’ve never cared for the M9 and will be happy to see it go. I always qualify expert marksman, but honestly it is not comfortable in my hand and so I am looking forward to seeing what the military deems appropriate to replace it with. On the civilian LEA side (I am reserve military and full-time Fed), I will always prefer my Glock.

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